Meet the Newest Additions to our Staff!


Rena Oppenheimer is a Shatil fellow who co-facilitates our Empowerment through Language Learning class and has been interviewing participantsof Arous ElBahar’s programs as a series of inspiring success stories. She is also assisting Arous ElBahar through monitoring and evaluation of our projects and translating the website into English.

Rena is from Boston, MA, and studied anthropology and Arabic at Tufts University. Through her work with an international development student group in college, Rena was a recipient of the Davis Projects for Peace Award. Since graduating from college, Rena worked as a case manager to clients with severe mental illness (mostly Arabs and Hasidic Jews) at a social services agency in Brooklyn, New York.

“I have already begun to observe the wonderful ways that Arous ElBahar uses knowledge and capacity-building to make women of all ages feel confident and strong. I am thrilled to be a part of this crucial effort to help Jaffa women realize all that they can achieve personally, for their families, and in this community. “


Leah Platkin is a social worker who has joined our team as a Shatil Social Justice Fellow. She is providing an array of support services including individual and group counseling for women and youth. Leah also co-facilitates the Empowerment through Language Learning course for high school students. She completed her Master’s in Social Work in 2012 at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College in New York City, with a concentration in Clinical Practice with Individuals and Families. Leah has a diverse array of professional experience working with women and families from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds in New York City. She has a unique clinical skill set and expertise in family treatment, trauma, and domestic violence.

Leah is thrilled to join the incredible team at Arous Elbahar and eager to develop and implement a counseling program to best support and empower the women and youth of Jaffa.

“I am beyond excited to have this opportunity in which I can utilize my clinical skills to best support and counsel the women and youth of Jaffa in tackling.challenging and sensitive issues in a safe and nurturing environment.”


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